Del Corral Plays Golden Encore in Little Rock
by Ali Jones
, 16 August 2011
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In the final stretch of a grueling 2011 summer schedule marked by record-breaking heat, Alexander del Corral emerged as the top 12-year-old boy in the U.S. by collecting his second consecutive Level 1 singles crown of the year. He defeated 2011 Clays doubles champion Nathan Perrone, 6-2, 6-2 in North Little Rock during a week of relentless rain.
The 12-year-old champion from Doral, Florida, displayed grace, poise and focus, and executed a well-thought out game plan to overcome Perrone, a fellow blue-chip recruit who also has won a National Open
and was a semifinalist at the 2011 Clays and Spring Nationals
Del Corral has 24-match winning streak the 12s division, and along the way he won two gold balls, a National Open and a Regional Tournament, firmly cementing his stature at the top of the Class of 2017. In April he won the 12-and-under title at the Azores Open in Portugal.
Shortly after del Corral and Perrone battled for the singles crown, they took to the courts again to contest the doubles semis: top seeds del Corral and Patrick Kypson beat third seeds Perrone and Sean Sculley 6-3, 6-1. In the other semis, Sam Riffice and Noah Schachter came back from a set down against Connor Hance and Sangeet N. Sridhar 3-6, 6-1, 6-2.
Riffice and Schachter pulled off a three-setter over the top seeds to win the doubles gold 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 and handed del Corral and Kypson the silver. Perrone and Sculley took home the bronze in another three-setter 6-2, 4-6, 6-2.
En route to the finals, del Corral and Perrone had to contend with rain delays, shortened formats and changing venues. Burns Park Tennis Center, built for the 1973 U.S.-Chile Davis Cup, has six indoor courts and 27 hard courts set amidst a hilly forest preserve.
"I think I was more positive and had a better mental attitude," said the champion of his latest triumph in Arkansas. He also displayed searing crosscourt forehands and acute angles to open up the court for easy put away shots.